After the loss against Delhi Capitals, Eoin Morgan felt it’s easy to be too analytical about the performance in Sharjah when the focus should be on the positives from the game. To a large extent, Morgan’s thought is right. However, after the game, there was plenty of criticism for Dinesh Karthik, who made six after walking in the tenth over.
Kolkata Knight Riders scored just 14 in overs 11 and 12, with Karthik and Nitish Rana at the crease, and lost their way a touch. As Morgan pointed out, there were plenty of positives but the real challenge for the side is to identify a settled batting order. Only one thing is certain at this point – Shubman Gill’s position at the top.
Karthik acknowledged that there will be discussions about Sunil Narine’s batting position but with Kuldeep Yadav’s dwindling returns, KKR will refrain from dropping Narine because of his bowling. Karthik, himself, will have to decide if he wants to continue in the middle-order role or take the finisher’s job which he excels at.
Chennai Super Kings come into the contest after a confidence-boosting ten-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab. But head coach Stephen Fleming was quick to point out that the record-breaking stand between Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson did mask out certain deficiencies. CSK were guilty of being lethargic on the field, much to the dismay of Fleming, and will have to pull up their socks.
The two openers at the top are also set to face a sterner challenge than they did against KXIP. Pat Cummins has looked penetrative and will hope to give KKR a better start. CSK are sixth while KKR are fourth with both teams bagging four points. They’ll want to want to “stay within touching distance” as Fleming pointed out with wins and points with the mid-table fight likely to be pretty tight this season.